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INSIDE OUT / NOTES FROM THE STYLE FRONT

A Peek Into Stars' Private Lives

March 18, 1994|DEBRA GENDEL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Who cares about the romantic and financial triumphs and travails of celebrities? We'd rather peek in their closets. Which brings us to a magazine called In Style.

Brought to you by the people who make People, In Style presents home decor, fashion, beauty and fitness as practiced by the most-probably rich and the most-certainly famous. Time Inc. executives announced Wednesday that after several well-received test issues, In Style would go monthly this June.

Where did the publishers come up with yet another way of pandering to our collective appetite for celebrity fawning? Partially, they said, from the popularity of such People special issues as "Best and Worst Dressed People."

We can't wait for a tour of "Hollywood's Worst Decorated Houses."

Mommy Dearest: Keeping track of Heather Locklear's possible TV moms has been, well, trickier than following a tacky nighttime soap opera. Veteran model Lauren Hutton was initially dubbed most likely to succeed as Amanda's mother on Fox's "Melrose Place." Perfect, we thought, since the character is supposed to run a modeling agency (the setting for a summer spin-off called "Models Inc.").

But Hutton--who's hot, hot, hot--had other plans. Then Raquel Welch was said to be in negotiations for the role. Talk about dueling divas. Now we learn that former "Dallas" star Linda Gray will play the modeling agency doyenne starting April 27. Just keep her away from those handsome young hunks. . . .

Body Buddies: Oscar nominee Angela ("What's Love Got to Do With It") Bassett's penchant for Escada was born on the gym floor. It seems the actress was working out next to Denzel Washington's wife, Pauletta Pearson Washington, and the subject turned to award-winning garb. Washington talked up Escada--whose standout black-and-white striped gown, you'll recall, she wore to last year's Oscars. Bassett followed suit, dressing for the recent People's Choice awards in a gold lame Escada jacket, brocade vest and chocolate-colored tuxedo trousers. She's selected Escada for the Oscars, too. But the details are under wrap till Monday night.

Wearing Their Hearts on Their Sleeves: Speaking of Oscar wear, some men are opting for tuxedo shirts that subtly broadcast their social awareness. Elton John, Leonardo DiCaprio and Steve Tisch are among those expected to be clad in Eton of Sweden's $225 "Stop AIDS" shirt. That message is woven into the white tone-on-tone fabric. The shirt's buttons are tiny clocks signifying that time is running out for those living with AIDS. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts (available at Sami Dinar in Beverly Hills, Ron Ross in the Valley and Steigler in Century City) go to national and local AIDS charities.

Sneak Attack: Oregon-based Adidas inaugurated its hip new entertainment/promotional offices in West L.A. last Friday night with a party for film and television costumers, buyers, store owners and a flock of kids dressed in what only can be described as hip-hop, phase two.

Hogging the spotlight, though, was the next generation of sneakers. Good thing, since even Wall Street is sounding the death knell of all brands of the once-coveted, overpriced high-tops. The Adidas Adventurer looks more like a Birken-sneaker--a sandal with a rubber toe--while the Intruder is clearly a deconstructionist's dream: The insides are on the outside.

A Beautiful Friendship: It's well-known that QVC mogul Barry Diller was introduced to the world of home shopping by longtime friend and glamour girl par excellence Diane von Furstenberg.

Now Diller has returned the favor, naming Von Furstenberg creative planning director of Q2, the new high-end QVC Inc. subsidiary. Von Furstenberg will concentrate on special projects with high-profile designers.

Up and Out: A 70-year-old British underwear manufacturer has taken the push-up bra a step further. The Gossard Super-Uplift bra--billed as the "ultimate cleavage creator"--will be introduced today in the United States at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. (Just in time for the Academy Awards!) The bra ($40) arrives with some amazing statistics: 46 separate components, 28 sewing stages, 18 months of research and development, an assortment of removable pads for extra lift and volume.

Wouldn't implants be simpler?

The Host With the Most: In Hollywood, the power players like to hide their idiosyncrasies behind the somber mantle of an Armani suit. Eccentric dressing is a reckless gesture.

"I could never wear that," agents and producers tell Allan Ludwig, longtime maitre d' at the Grill, when they peruse his whimsical combination of a deeply colored, patterned tie, one of his collection of 200 lapel pins and an oversized '40s-style pin-striped suit.

"Yes you can," he tells them. "It just takes courage."

Before his stint at the Grill, Ludwig was a haberdasher, and old habits, he says, die hard. "I buy for myself as I bought for my store. I'd rather buy one good item than several ordinary ones. If someone gave me a Nicole Miller tie right now, I'd give it back."

Over the years, regulars have contributed to Ludwig's extensive tie collection. From Warner Bros. exec Terry Semel and his wife, Jane, came the earliest version of Looney Toons ties. A never-produced prototype for a Spider-man tie was a gift from New World Television's Barbara Corday. Sharon Gless and husband Barney Rosenzweig gave him the Tabasco-bottle-covered tie he wore to work Wednesday on the background of a dark teal blue shirt. "They know my taste," he says.

Boy Talk: Speaking of fashionable dining, isn't it a happy coincidence that the Elite modeling agency and Maple Drive restaurant share the same office complex? That way, those studly married actors can ogle young, new-in-town models and wolf down their power lunches at the very same time. One such guy (an Oscar nominee) felt it necessary to circle one such gal twice for a close-up gander. Or maybe he wanted to make sure she wasn't "In the Line of Fire."

Inside Out is published Fridays.

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